tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC February 11, 2013 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
defended him when he was terminated from the police department, the same lawyer who said that dorner may have been scapegoated by the lapd, it was this captain's daughter who was the first victim who was gunned down who was murdered. so it looks like dorner doesn't know who his friends are and who his enemies are. and right now everybody is trying to bring this man in before he shoots again. >> clint, what is it going to take to catch this guy? a stroke of luck? >> well, it's going to take the public, ed. a million dollars on your head brings a lot of attention. and right now i think what we're seeing is dorner keeping good to his word, perhaps, if he is still alive, ed. if he is still alive, he is sitting back, and he is waiting to see the results of this review. realize this guy is a sociopath. he is megalomaniac. the only thing he cares about is himself. but he cares about his name and
reputation. and he wants to see if he can make the lapd say he shouldn't have been fired. so i think right now if he is smart and he is still alive, the last thing he wants to do is hurt anybody else, otherwise that will prove that he's the kill they're many in the law enforcement make him out to be right now anyway. >> okay. clint van zandt, appreciate you joining us tonight. this a wild story, to say the least. and it has got all the ingredients of a movie, no doubt. but seriously, very, very serious. and now the lapd asking the public to be on the lookout. a million dollar reward. it's pretty amazing. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. the "rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, ed, thank you very much. and thanks to you at home for joining thus hour. to those of you who are still snowed in on the east coast, i salute you, and i empathize. barely escaped myself. a big thanks to melissa harris-perry for filling in for me on friday when i was snowed in.
when pope benedict xvi announced today that he would resign as pope, that he would abdicate the papacy, the move was greeted, frankly, with shock. that is something that has not happened in 600 years is happening right now. but it was also clear immediately that even though nothing like this has happened in 600 years, or 598 years to be exact, the catholic church nevertheless had a plan ready to go. even though no pope has resigned his seat since the year 1415, and this resignation announcement today from pope benedict was totally unexpected, despite all of that, there is apparently an agreed upon protocol for what happens in an instance like this. once pope benedict leaves the vatican on february 28th, the church says he will go live for a while in castle gandolfo, which is the pope's summerout house in a small town outside of rome. he will live at that castle while construction work is done
on a cloistered monastery inside the vatican complex. then when the construction is done, he will move back into the vatican. and living in that cloistered monastery, provided that papal cloistering is like other kinds of cloistering, i think that means he will have no contact with the outside world while he lives there. he will be closed off. in any case, the cardinals will then meet, they say before the end of march, to choose pope benedict's successor. and then we will have two living popes, or one living pope and an ex-pope. but there is a plan. before we goat the drama and the political and theological import of the choosing of the new pope what is remarkable here just organizationally is there is an agreed upon and accept wade forward in an instance like this. there is a plan for how this goes, this thing that last happened in the early 1400s. is this like plan x, plan y? this can't possibly be any plans listed at the beginning of the alphabet. but they have a plan.
we have only existed as a country since the late 1700s, which in world historical perspective is not long at all. compared with the institutions and traditions of the catholic church, we as a nation are a spring chicken. but within our own timetable of american history, our national history, one of the most ancient rituals and traditions that we have as a nation is something that will happen tomorrow, the state of the union address. the state of the union is one of those very specific things like the post office or the census that is called for explicitly in the united states constitution. article 1 in the constitution is about the congress, the legislative branch. article 2 is about the presidency. article 3 is the judicial branch. and the part of the constitution that calls for the state of the union message is in article 2, section 3. it says the presidential from time to time give to the congress information about the state of the union. and since it is in the constitution, we have been doing this from the very beginning.
the first one was january 1790, george washington. he delivered his state of the union address to congress. he made his recommendations to them for action. george washington was of course the first president. john adams was the second president. by the time we got to the third president, thomas jefferson, jefferson thought the whole speech to congress thing was actually a little showy. made the president too king-like for his taste. so jefferson decided to meet this particular constitutional obligation in writing, rather than by giving a speech. that tradition held sway for more than 100 years until 1913, when the speaking tradition of the state of the union was revived in what was a controversial move at the time by president woodrow wilson. so wilson's innovation was really i guess the major innovation in this ancient ritual that we have as a nation. the return to it being delivered in speech form, which happened in 1913. the only other major innovation that we have had over the centuries started in 1966.
that's hen the party that is not the president's party started giving, in effect, a rebut toll the state of the union. the republicans started it when lbj was president. they started it in 1966. the top republican in the house and the top republican in the senate, effort dirksen and gerald ford, they wanted to critique lbj's state of the union. so they went on television right after his speech, and they gave a republican response. they thought it was so successful that first year that the same two republicans responded to lbj's speech again the following year. and then apparently drunk with their own success, the third year that they did it, they had 17 republicans responding to lbj. 17. when nixon became president the following year, democrats had their first chance to do their own party's rebuttal. and in their first response, they had seven democrats respond to nixon. do you get the feeling that it was becoming a little bit of a circus, you are not alone. and the young tradition of the opposite party's response to the
state of the union died after the first couple of years there. apparently it died of its own top-heaviness. and it was dead for most of the next decade. eventually the president getting all that unanswered air time and attention proved too much for washington's partisans, and the state of the union responses started up again after the 1970s. and now it is well established that every year the party out of power, the party who does not hold the white house will offer a response. after more than a generation of doing it this way, it feels like almost as much as a tradition as the state of the union itself. the rebuttal address or response address from the other party is carried by all of the networks that carry the state of the union itself. it's treated with essentially the same gravitas. and to be named as the respondent to the state of the union for your party, that is considered a real elevation within your party. i mean, you essentially bookend the president's remarks. you alone are responsible for embodying and articulating your
own party's coherent unified alternative to what the country has just heard from the president. or at least you used to be. because now republicans have come up with yet another innovation for this most ancient american political ritual. they were the first ones who came up with the rebuttal address in 1966. and now since barack obama has been president, they have come up with a new idea. the idea of doing not just a rebuttal to the president's state of the union address, but also a rebuttal to their own rebuttal. what? yes. for the third year in a row now, republicans are rebutting themselves as well as rebutting the president. what could possibly go wrong? the first year was 2011 when minnesota congresswoman and eventual presidential candidate michele bachmann gave not the republican party response, but the tea party republican response to the republican response to president obama's state of the union while making meaningful eye contact with something other than the camera that was pointed at her.
that was the first one. the year after that, the tea party republican response to the republican response to the state of the union was given by pizza company executive herman cain. >> and so i say in response on behalf of the tea party and citizens people across this country, with all due respect, mr. president, some of us are not stupid. the state of the union is not good. >> the hermanator, the response responses. less you think the 2012 election changed anything in republican party politics, in case all the anti-abortion legislation in the states has not been persuasive enough, in case the reelection of party chairman reince priebus by acclimation is not persuasive enough, in case the persistent efforts at the state level to
make voting harder even now in case those efforts have not been persuasive enough, let it be known that nothing at all has changed in republican party politics, even after the 2012 election. and they are sticking with the idea this year of having not just a republican party response to the state of the union, but a tea party republican response to the republican response to the state of the union again. this year the inheriter of the michele bachmann/herman cain legacy will be united states senator rand paul. the official republican party response will be delivered by another guy who we are told is a tea party senator, marco rubio. but marco rubio is giving the republican response and rand paul is giving the tea party republican response to the republican response. capisci? it is hard to tell at this point whether or not the republican party still has the wherewithal to be annoyed at its own members being this self-serving, whether or not they care. this throws kind of a wrench in the works, right, in terms of the republican party's efforts to portray itself as having a
coherent, unified alternate vision to what president obama is offering. i mean if you like an alternative vision that is presented after the state of the union this year, which one do you pick? if you're in the market for a republican message, which one is being offered? and then how do you demonstrate that you like that message? how do you vote? what do you do? on the other side of the aisle, democrats and the white house are trying to make the most this year of the attention surrounding the president's speech. they are doing everything they can to use the speech for maximum political effect. the white house has already announced that after the state of the union, the president will get on the road to push for the policies he unveils in the speech tomorrow night. he will head to asheville, north carolina, on wednesday. he will travel to atlanta on thursday. he will travel to chicago on friday. that's the sort of thing that presidents have done in years past. but this year in addition, organizing for action, which is the group formed out of the obama campaign, they're organizing watch parties in
neighborhoods all around the country to get the president's supporters to watch the speech together. the president himself immediately after he is finished delivering the state of the union, he will get on a conference call that night with supporters and with members of organizing for action. the president will also participate in what google is calling a fireside hangout, kind of a riff on the fireside chat. on thursday afternoon, somewhere between north carolina and georgia, he is going to be taking questions on google plus. in terms of invited guests at the state of the union this year, traditionally the first lady invites a number of outside guests to sit with her during the speech. it's both an honor in itself, and it is to symbolize some of the proposals the president will discuss in the speech. this year the first lady's guests will include army staff sergeant clinton romashay who was awarded the medal of honor for valor in one of the deadliest battles in afghanistan. after attending the funeral of
hadiya pendleton, the young chicago honor student shot dead in chicago just a week after she performed as a majorette in the president's inauguration parade in washington, d.c., just after attending the young woman's funeral this weekend, the first lady, michelle, will be hosting her mother, hadiya pendleton's mother as one of the guests for the president's speech. interestingly, a number of the democratic members of the house, democratic members of congress, i should say, both houses, have also announced that they have given tickets to the speech to relatives and friends of people who have been killed by gun violence. including relatives and friends of victims of the aurora mass shooting, aurora, colorado, and the newtown mass shooting from december, and the tucson mass shooting. former congresswoman gabby giffords and her husband will be attending as guests of her replacement in congress ron barber, who was gabby giffords' staffer and who was himself wounded in the tucson shooting. they'll also be guests of senator john mccain. gabby giffords' political action
group, the group she formed with her husband, astronaut mark kelly asks americans for responsible solutions. americans for responsible solutions sut this ad, which is going to be running after the state of the union apparently on fox and msnbc and on cnn. >> we have a problem. where we shop, where we pray, where our children go to school. but there are solutions we can agree on. even gunowners like us. take it from me. congress must act. let's get this done. >> in addition to running after the state of the union tomorrow night on cable networks, that ad is scheduled to air on local broadcast tv in washington, d.c. according to the group that produced the ad, they're also planning on running this in local media markets, reaching the constituents of all four top
congressional leaders from both houses and both parties. so that's mitch mcconnell, harry reid, nancy pelosi and john boehner. in response i think to the number of democrats and the first lady bringing victims of gun violence with them as guests to the state of the union this year, to highlight that issue, one republican member of congress this year has decided to do his part to advance the serious consideration of gun violence and lawful gun ownership in america by inviting as his guest for the state of the union this gentleman. >> hey obama, you might want to suck on one of these, you punk! obama, he's a piece of [ bleep ] and i told him to suck on my machine gun. let's hear it for him. i said hey, humor me. you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless [ bleep ]. >> mr. ted nugent is a musician. i believe he is still mostly known for "cat scratch fever", but i could be wrong.
he was investigated by the secret service last year after telling an nra convention in april of 2012, quote, if barack obama is elected, i'll either be dead or in jail this time next year." texas congressman steve stockman has invited ted nugent to be his guest for the state of the union. but if you think about what he got in trouble for with the secret service last year, barack obama's elected i'll either be dead or in jail this time next year, if you think about that, given that it's february, that means we only have two months left of ted nugent, by his own account. maybe one of those nights tomorrow will be in washington at the state of the union, courtesy of a republican congressman who thought it was good to invite him. state of the union is always an amazing and historic night in american politics. it is one of our oldest and i think best rituals as a nation. but this year it's going to be even more of a hoot than usual. alright, bring the model in on the set!
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for the first time in nine years, there are no americans fighting in iraq. >> that was president obama's last state of the union address january 24th of last year, just weeks after the last u.s. troops had left iraq for the last time. in the run-up to this year's state of the union address, just this weekend, the weekend before the first state of the union of president obama's second term, this is what happened in afghanistan. this is the change of command ceremony in afghanistan. general john allen handing over command of u.s. and international troops in afghanistan to a new commander, to commander joseph dunford. this is the 14th time that command has transferred in the afghanistan war, because that war has been going on for that long. general john allen is out as commander. he is handing over the
leadership. if all goes as planned, general dunford is going to be the last person to have this job. he will be the 15th of 15 u.s. commanding generals for this war in afghanistan. as such, a substantial portion of what he'll be responsible for as commander will be leaving, the huge logistical feat of getting us after fighting there for 12 years. is that going to be a focal point of tomorrow's state of the union address? we do not know. we are now in the managing expectations and strategic leaking and even strategic disinformation part of the process. we're told, for example, to expect a message of economic populism in tomorrow night's speech, picking up themes offered in the president's inaugural address just three weeks ago. we're also told a to expect the president to talk tomorrow night about reducing the number of nuclear weapons that we have. and that then that was flat-out denied this afternoon by the white house. they said no, that's not in the speech. so really, we do not know what
is going to be in the president's speech tomorrow. this is no reason to not just wait to hear it. our coverage, by the way, starts at 8:00 eastern tomorrow night. but in terms of what we know the president wants to get done in his second term, what his priorities are, what the priorities are of the democratic party, what are the issues that would be best served by having the president hit them explicitly in this speech? and are there issues that the president wants to make progress on in this term for which it actually makes more sense to leave them out of the speech all together? joining us now is democratic senator sherrod brown of ohio. senator brown, it's great to see you again. thanks for being here. >> good to be back. thanks, rachel. >> what do you think about this idea that the president himself has talked about sometimes, which is that sometimes there are things that republicans say they want, and then once president obama comes out and says yes, i want that too, they change their mind and they run from them. i'm thinking about things like cap and trade and individual mandate and health reform, even some elements of immigration reform that democrats and the
president now support, the republicans used to support and they have run from. are there issues like that that the president has on his plate right now that would be better for him to not put his imprimatur on by putting it in this speech? >> no, i think the president is -- i think the inauguration showed that. the election showed that the president needs to step forward, and it's his agenda we should be talking about and debating. it doesn't mean the house and the senate obviously adopt everything that he wants to do. i think you go back, rachel, to the december 31st tax deal. it really was ultimately -- it wasn't everything we wanted, but it was an affirmation that trickle-down economics doesn't work. it hasn't worked for our lifetimes, and you grow the economy from the middle class out. i think that's what that vote on december 31st at the end of the year on the tax issues showed. i think that's the way -- i think that's what the elections said. that's what polling shows. and that's what voters and citizens of this country want to hear the president talk about. it means it's a manufacturing agenda.
it's a jobs agenda. it needs to be all about that. >> you have really made a centerpiece of your time in office a lot of different economic populist issues, manufacturing you were just talking about, trade, other issues about jobs effectively for your ohio constituents. are there issues where you felt like you and the president had different agendas in the first term? are there issues where you would like to see the president move where he hasn't been there yet and you're expecting him -- you're expecting that he may move more toward your way of seeing things in the second term? >> yeah, sure. tomorrow night my guest for the state of the union will be a steelworker from cleveland from a company called arceler middle downtown cleveland. she has been a steelworker at that company for a number of years that plant, that mill in cleveland is the first time in world history where one person hour of labor produced one ton of steel. that had never happened before. so we have the most productive. we have some of the most productive workers in the world. it means we need to do something
like the president's and my national network of the manufacturing innovation. the first one of those was located in youngstown a few months ago. we expect the president i hope tomorrow night to announce a series of them around the country. it's not the only part of a jobs agenda. it's infrastructure, it's better job training, it's working to in-source, if you will, some of the jobs that have gone offshore. senator levin from michigan has been a real leader in pointing out all the kind of tax breaks that the tax code has put -- included in the tax code over the years that give far too many incentives for companies to move offshore, not bring jobs back. and there is real potential there. i hope the president where he has not gone far enough. he has been more aggressive than his predecessors in enforcing of trade laws, but he has still not really been where we ought to be on a trade policy that works for workers, works for american
companies, american manufacturers, and ultimately strengthens our community. we've gained back manufacturing jobs in the last three years. but we lost far too many in the decade before that. and that's not the solution to everything, but it really is a ticket to the middle class for millions of working class americans. >> senator sherrod brown of ohio, thank you so much for being here tonight. i really appreciate it, sir. >> thanks, rachel. lots more ahead, including something of a backwards milestone in civil rights. that's coming up. searching an. eucerin professional repair moisturizes while actually repairing very dry skin. the end of trial and error has arrived. try a free sample at eucerinus.com. the end of trial and error has arrived. feby earning your degree fromore racapella university,re. you'll have the knowledge to advance your career while making a difference in the lives of patients. let's get started at capella.edu. it's part of what you slove about her.essing.
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on thursday afternoon, the national weather service posted this map of the predicted snowfall expected to arrive the following day in the northeast. that very, very pale pink section covering nearly the entire area of this map, including massachusetts, connecticut, and rhode island, that signified 18 to 24 inches of predicted snow. by 5:00 on friday, the weather service had to go so far down the color key that they had to break out the white. look, they had to go colorless for a big swath of the map. and indeed, mother nature brought it. over 2 feet in the boston area and other areas getting as much as 30 inches or more, if you ask my mother-in-law. it was a full-on blizzard, and it is still a huge mess in much of new england. but you know what else is turning into a real mess in new england, in massachusetts specifically? the republican party. and this weekend's big beyond the color code blizzard did absolutely nothing to help that very specific situation. and that story is coming up.
how do you keep an older car running like new? you ask a ford customer. when they tell you that you need your oil changed you got to bring it in. if your tires need to be rotated, you have to get that done as well. jackie, tell me why somebody should bring they're car here to the ford dealership for service instead of any one of those other places out there. they are going to take care of my car because this is where it came from. price is right no problem, they make you feel like you're a family. get a synthetic blend oil change, tire rotation and much more, $29.95 after $10.00 rebate. if you take care of your car your car will take care of you. we all work remotely so this is a big deal, our first full team gathering! i wanted to call on a few people. ashley, ashley marshall... here. since we're often all on the move, ashley suggested we use fedex office to hold packages for us.
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secretary of defense, chuck hagel. whether or not they filibuster him that. >> don't have the votes, although at least one republican senator is threatening to try a filibuster anyway. senator lindsey graham of south carolina is also now threatening to put a hold on the hagel nomination, even though there is no precedent for that ever. no cabinet nomination has ever been filibustered or held by a senator. while lindsey graham is making the decision as to whether or not he wants to be famous forever for doing something nobody else has ever done in the history of the senate in order to block chuck hagel, the current defense secretary leon panetta is on his way out. they gave mr. panetta his sendoff on saturday, though it looks like he'll probably be in charge for another week or so. his time has been a period of lasting change for the u.s. military. after the end of the iraq war, he has overseen the beginning of the end of america's longest war ever in afghanistan. the clinton era policy of "don't ask, don't tell" ended under leon panetta's watch, at his recommendation that the nation
allow openly gay people to be a part of the military. last year secretary panetta took steps to reform the way the military deals with sexual assault in its ranks, going as far in those reforms as he could without help from congress. he also opened new assignments in the military, new roles for female soldiers. last month, with the end of his term near, he proclaimed an end to the ban on women in combat, full stop. well, today in a new memo, the outgoing defense secretary, leon panetta, made another historic change, saying that discrimination based on sexual orientation no longer has a place in the military. secretary panetta ordered that gay service members and their families be eligible for as many of the benefits that other families get as is possible under the law. benefits like being able to shop at stores on a military base, benefits like getting assigned to the same place if your spouse is also in the military. things like visiting your spouse in the hospital or being notified in the case of the very worst news.
those steps are as far as leon panetta can go under current law. and this is remarkable. look at this. this is from the memo today. he writes, quote, in the event that the defense of marriage act is no longer apolitic to believe the department of defense, it will be the policy of the department to construe the words "spouse" and "marriage" without regard to sexual orientation. and married couples, irrespectable of sexual orientation and their dependents will be granted full military benefits. it's remarkable, right? it's leon panetta saying that today's list of 40 or so new benefits for equal treatment for gay soldiers and their families is as far as the military can take this equality thing right now. but that the military would like to go the rest of the way right now. they would like to equalize all benefits. the reason they can't go further is defense of marriage act signed into law by president clinton, and president clinton now disavows it. to some extent, the question of whether or not the military is going to be as equal as it wants to be depends on the u.s. supreme court.
the supreme court is going to hear challenges to the defense of marriage act next month. the question also depends on congress. and that's because the obama administration has decided to not defend that law. the obama administration says they believe that doma is unconstitutional. they will not defend it. it is house republicans specifically who are defending that law in court at the direction of house speaker john boehner, using your tax dollars. this is chief warrant officer charlie morgan. after serving for the better part of two decades, after deploying overseas, after leaving behind her partner and their young daughter for a year while she served in kuwait, chief warrant officer charlie morgan asked for a meeting with speaker john boehner. she told the speaker that she had stage 4 breast cancer, inoperable. she told him that her own father had served in the army and was killed in a car wreck in an accident as he was getting ready for deployment in vietnam when she was just a little kid. officer morgan writing, quote, my mom and i received va and
social security benefits as a result of his death. those benefits put a roof over our head, food in our bellies, and clothes on our backs. she wanted to make the case to john boehner that her family now, as she faced death, should qualify for the same treatment honoring her service. speaker boehner did not meet with charlie morgan. he sent a staffer instead. officer morgan told the advocate magazine afterward that the staffer was, quote, very empathetic, but the staffer told her that john boehner would continue to defend doma. and he did continue to defend doma that was february 2012, a year ago almost to the day. charlie morgan was able to be out. she was able to ask congress to consider her situation because the ban on gay people in the military was ended. this video was made by a project called legal stranger, because that is how the law still views troops like charlie morgan and specifically, her family, her wife. that was the story miss morgan was trying to tell congress. in this next clip, you can tell
how the cancer she was fighting was affecting her voice. >> what i wanted to tell you personally and with karen here was that she has given me a part of a blessing th i-- of six mon. i love karen, and i just want the make sure she is taken care of. i'm asking you personally to do everything you can to make sure if i don't make this, that somehow she will be taken care of with those benefits that we're not able to have right now. i hope that casey grows up in an environment where they'll look back at this and say wow, you know, this is crazy that they had to go through that. but i hope that sees that her parents are proud enough to step up and fight for her equality as well. >> around thanksgiving, charlie morgan told the "washington post" that she was praying that the supreme court would hear the
challenge to doma quickly. she said, quote, i really need to be alive when they actually do overturn doma. otherwise karen is not guaranteed anything. charlie morgan did not make it that far. she died on sunday morning. she was 48 years old. the "washington post" reports that her widow karen will not receive survivor benefits. the paper also notes that in ordinary times, charlie and karen would have been glad for the new executive order allowing the family to shop on military bases. we asked today whether officer charlie morgan had heard about the changes that secretary panetta was preparing to announce today. the answer is that it appears she had not. she apparently had not heard about it. it's a very sad story. for many people it is an enraging story. but it is not a finished story. hold on there is more. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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okay. check out this picture. this picture was taken december 21st, 2010. that's then house speaker nancy pelosi signing a bill that was passed by the house so it can be officially sent to the president's desk to become law. did you know that speaker of the house has to sign every bill passed by congress before the president does? that usually does not happen in a big public ceremony, but this time it did. because what nancy pelosi is signing there is the official repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." on the far right of the picture you can see democratic senator barbara boxer of california. she was one of the chief
proponents of repeal in the u.s. senate. on the far left of the picture, let's see, there is major mike there from the air force, and who is the hairless guy? ah, the gentleman smiling from ear to ear, that would be lieutenant colonel victor farengach. he has been a guest on this show. the colonel came out nationally on this show in may 2009, a year before the "don't ask, don't tell" repeal was signed into law. at that time, colonel faa arenbach was being informed he was being discharged from the military for being gay. he had extensive combat experience. he was two years short of his retirement, but the u.s. launched and investigation into his personal life. they determined he was gay and went out about kicking him out. vic he fought that charge. he filed a lawsuit claiming it was unconstitutional. and the moral urgency of stories like his ultimately resulted in "don't ask, don't tell" being repealed. more than a year after appearing on this program, victor stood
alongside house speaker nancy pelosi as she sent that repeal on to president obama. and then nine months later, after a year's long struggle, victor farrenbach officially retired from the air force with the full military benefits that he earned. since his retirement he has started grad school, and just very recently he has started a new job at the u.s. state department. he is also now the author of a brand-new book about his journey, which is called "out of the blue". we have a link posted of at our website today. it was from victor yesterday morning that i first learned that his friend and his fellow combatant in the fight for equality had died from the breast cancer yesterday that she had fought so long. she lived long enough to see the end of "don't ask, don't tell," but not long enough to see the end the defense of marriage act. and that law bans her wife, now her widow from receiving the same benefits that other military families would receive in such a sad circumstance. retired air force lieutenant victor fehrenbach joins us
tonight for the interview. thank you for being here. >> thanks for having me, rachel. >> i know you were good friends with charlie, who died yesterday. how would you describe her role, what she was fighting for alongside you? >> well, we met just over a year ago right about the time that you talked about where she met with john boehner's staff and frankly enough, she told me a story that while she was deployed in kuwait, she sat and she watched you and i at this table telling my story. and she told me that thank you, by the way, for letting me tell my story, because she said it inspired her. she said when "don't ask, don't tell" is repealed, she'll come out and tell her story about her family and her fight and her struggles. and i think she made a huge difference. >> she did come out the dedais of repeal. >> absolutely. >> she herself got on television for the first time ever. >> i think her story, you know, made a big difference in changing hearts and minds. i know people, no matter what their religious affiliation or their political affiliation were, when i told charlie's
story to them, they just said that's not right. and it changed their minds. and so she made a huge impact. i know i was heartbroken yesterday. not just because she died. we all knew she was dying. but we wanted her to live to see march, to see the supreme court take up doma, to live until june to see doma finally overturned by the supreme court. that wasn't meant to be. and now, you know, you saw in the video one of her greatest fears was she would die and her wife karen and her daughter casey elena would not be cared for. so i think some of the steps that we saw secretary panetta take today, those are going to help thousand of people. they'll be enabled in the summertime. but it wasn't in time to help charlie's family. >> and they've gone as far as they can, but the main benefits, things like, you know, on-base housing and the kinds of benefits that would make a lifetime of difference to charlie's child and to her wife. >> right. >> those benefits, the pentagon
no matter how much they want to, they can't do those things. >> right. >> because they are precluded by law because of doma. >> and secretary panetta and the president, they did all they could under the law. and that's what a lot of people don't understand. here is another story charlie told me. she said when she was doing her live interview, she also went to see her then congressman from new hampshire. and she told her story. and the congressman said oh, but you're okay. you live in new hampshire. you're legally married in new hampshire. that's legal. so you're taken care of. so her congressman didn't even know that her wife was treated as a second class citizen and didn't enjoy the benefits that other military families enjoyed. so if the congressman didn't know, you know, the american public has no idea. so we need to continue telling charlie's story. >> the reason that i wanted to play that particular clip of her lobbying gene shaheen there, gene shaheen obviously somebody who has been very supportive of her. but you see when she tells gene shaheen her diagnosis, and the senator responds by saying i'm so sorry, i'm so sorry to hear about this. and you can see charlie
essentially being like yeah, i know you're sorry. i don't need you to be sorry. i need you to go fast there is some urgency here there. >>. >> looking ahead to the state of the union is tomorrow. this is the president who repealed "don't ask, don't tell." the outgoing secretary ended the end of women in combat, overpeeled "don't ask, don't tell," took all these actions on previously taboo subjects like sexual assault in the military there is this sense that things are moving fast. what do you think given your experience both in the military and as an advocate is the way to make the motion go faster? >> just what i did, just what your other guests did, just our stories. you know, i wrote an article in "the huffington post," as well, we see change, in the british parliament, an overwhelming vote. we saw the supreme court decision in new mexico. we have seen the changes that were announced today -- the changes are happening faster.
but we could all sit idly back and watch the clock tick away, or we can do something about it. stand up, tell our stories and vote. we can vote, things like that, one thing standing in our way as you mentioned, speaker john boehner is defending doma as wasting taxpayer dollars. as we speak, we can vote, make changes in the house and the law if the supreme court doesn't overturn it. i think it will, but i think more of us need to come forward and tell stories because that is the way to change hearts and minds. >> didn't you grow up right near his district? >> yeah, he is my congressman. >> he doesn't want to talk about this either. >> i would love to see the president mention charlie's name with the speaker over his shoulder, because you know, he sent the staff to speak with charlie but didn't do it himself. maybe if the president mentions her story maybe that will change his mind, as well. >> speaker boehner if you would like to get in touch with
retired air force lieutenant colonel victor fehrenbach, i have their numbers. even though i'm not supposed to give them out, i do. victor fehrenbach, thank you so much. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪ i want candy ♪ ♪ i want candy i took something for my sinuses, but i still have this cough. [ male announcer ] a lot of sinus products don't treat cough. they don't? [ male announcer ] nope, but alka seltzer plus severe sinus does it treats your worst sinus symptoms, plus that annoying cough. [ breathes deeply ] ♪ oh, what a relief it is! [ angry gibberish ] did you know not all fiber is the same? citrucel is different- it's the only fiber for regularity that won't cause excess gas. it's gentle and clinically proven to help restore and maintain regularity.
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[ coughs ] [ baby crying ] ♪ [ male announcer ] robitussin® liquid formula soothes your throat on contact and the active ingredient relieves your cough. robitussin®. don't suffer the coughequences™. no matter where you live, you have surely seen and heard what happened in new england over the weekend. here is a "rachel maddow show" related sample. this is the home of massachusetts native and show producer. his folks still live there. as you can see there that is the top of the mail box. and oh, my stars, that is a stop sign, not a child-sized hip-length stop sign, a real life stop sign and the snow goes almost all the way to the top, just outside of boston yesterday. now this is summerville,
massachusetts, before the roads were plowed, the sidewalks shovelled. while there was still a driving ban in effect for the whole state. but these hearty souls were out with the card table, in the snow, canvassing for the signatures. it takes more than two feet of snow to stop politics in massachusetts, there was a reason for that. when john kerry became secretary of state, he had to resign his seat in the senate. mo cowan was chosen to fill it. he says he will not run in the special election, so both parties have to pick the candidates and fast. the deadline is roughly two weeks from now for any candidates in the special election to turn in 10,000 signatures to get their names on the massachusetts ballot. a long way to go and a short time to get there. on the democratic side, there are two guys in for a while now,
steven lynch, conservative, and the more liberal democratic congressman, ed markey, on the republican side, senator scott brown, who just months ago lost his seat in the senate to democrat elizabeth warren, lost his seat, turns out he is not running, we know that because he said that in this text message, because that is what he is like. also, former massachusetts governor bill weld is not running, possibly because of his own previous memoryies on the rn for the senate seat, that was followed by bill weld running for governor again in a different state, he ran for governor in new york after he lost the massachusetts senate race and lost the governor's race, as well. bill weld, also not running this time, and scott brown, not running, tag romney, one of the romney sons.
the boston herald floated that idea after the father lost, tag will not be running, and neither will be a gay republican former state legislator who lost to state race this year, and neither will be mitt romney's lieutenant governor who lost the role for governor herself, after mitt romney left to run after a decade. also, fox news, he said he was going to run, now he is not, even though that might have been amazing. . psychic twins, dr. keith will not be the next republican senator from massachusetts. he had said that he would run if the state party promised he could just have the nomination withouha